We are witnessing a cloud revolution as an increased number of businesses move their data to a cloud-based infrastructure. The cloud offers a way out of being at the mercy of outdated and antiquated infrastructure and stagnant processes, powering firms to work in a modern, responsive and collaborative way.
Cloud computing services and solutions are now being viewed as essential business tools when it comes to driving digital transformation – we explain in more detail below.
Cloud computing is making data more secure
We naturally fear the unknown – and that logic applies to cloud computing. As SMBs move their data to the cloud, maintaining its integrity is critical.
Many businesses become disillusioned between control and security when it comes to cloud computing. They are guilty of thinking that because the data is being stored offsite on servers owned by a third-party, they are in less control of how it is managed. However, control does not lead to security – and data stored on-premise servers does not guarantee its protection.
There seems to be much trepidation surrounding the word ‘automation’. The paranoia seems to stem from the fact that there are concerns about automation replacing employees, when the reality is that automation works to assist, not replace. Businesses are likely to see the full benefit of automation when it becomes integrated with processes and tailored to specific roles.
Surveys have already shown that there is a significant difference between companies that have deployed automated processes. Top performing businesses automated 72% of configuration management processes, while lower performing companies spent almost 50% of their time on manual configuration.
Cloud automation offers an opportunity for businesses to eliminate manual and labour-intensive manual processes, particularly related to deploying enterprise tasks – but it also has the opportunity to lend itself to a host of other business processes. Business automation requires a prescriptive approach, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ method.
What all businesses should recognise is that, ultimately, business and process automation let you focus on your core mission.
Cost efficient, time efficient and scalable resource
The pay-per-use model that cloud computing offers makes it extremely cost efficient, not to mention accessible for small-to-medium sized businesses. The flexible nature of cloud means that many services and applications are offered on a per-user basis, eliminating the risk of lost finances, and the ability to scale resources as the business needs.
Businesses will not only reap the benefits of cost saving; they will also find themselves not having to waste time setting up and implementing these solutions. These resources can be deployed in a matter of hours, rather than the traditional time period of ‘days or weeks’ with conventional processes.
A cloud environment enables businesses to achieve an increased pace of product or service development because of the potential processing power it holds. Not only this, but the reduced costs it offers means that capital can be invested into developing the core offering.
Advanced analytics, big data and machine learning capabilities means that businesses can become far more data driven in their approach, provide more opportunities to improve customer experience, re-allocate internal resources and be more responsive.
Cloud computing and collaboration: the key to success
As legacy infrastructure grows old and outdated, collaboration between colleagues working from the same location can become fractured, and as the modern office evolves, this is the tip of the iceberg. Today’s business landscape sees SMB’s exploring new workplace trends such as remote and flexible working, and expanding on a global scale, employing a workforce in varying locations. More than ever – collaboration and communication are business critical; it should come as no surprise that customer satisfaction is at an all-time high when employees communicate easily.
Greater file and folder organisation
With legacy infrastructure that has been in place for a matter of years, organisation of files and folders can become less of a priority. Uploading files becomes a lengthy and frustrating process, and individuals become so concerned with getting the files uploaded, the matter of ‘right place’ becomes a distant memory.
Sharing files from onsite networks and drives can prove to be another time-consuming process and collaboration begins to wane.
A modern cloud environment is not only intelligent and intuitive, it has the potential to use machine learning. By anticipating your next move and highlighting recently used or (easily) uploaded documents, the system can offer a number of ways for these documents to be shared efficiently both internally and externally.
Creating a central hub that all employees can access, rather than waiting for documents to be shared with them naturally enhances collaboration. Many email providers are unable to handle files that are larger than a few MB, providing access to the cloud where these large files are stored, you prevent this creating inefficiency within the business.
The ability for multiple people to collaborate on documents and projects from various locations eliminates confusion of ‘latest’ versions and reduces the risk of mistakes being made.
Of course, this list of benefits is not exhaustive, and there are far more benefits that can be applied when a business decides to embrace cloud computing. If you would like to hear more about the bespoke benefits that your workforce and customers would experience, please contact a member of the Chalkline team today.